Chunky Veggie Chili

Chunky Veggie Chili

I love this way of eating veggies! Vegetarian chili is a delicious, almost-decadent way of getting veggies in your diet.

Chili is full of super-flavorful spices, giving vegetables and beans a smoky, spicy life that works well with fresh chopped toppings. Who doesn’t love a great chili?!

Chili is perfect for the colder months, but I make it other times too. Once you soak the dried beans overnight and chop the veggies up, the whole process is really very easy yet makes a huge batch of healthy, delicious meals. I’m obsessed! This is my favorite vegetarian chili recipe. You can also serve it with a nice green salad, grilled chicken or steak cut into cubes, or the classic combo of cornbread with your chili.

This makes a big batch of chili, so be hungry and you’ll also have leftovers. Chili actually tastes even better the next day—bonus!

Makes 8 servings.


  • 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed, and soaked overnight
  • 8 cups cold unsalted water (for simmering the beans)
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans; or 1 cup dried kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 big yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed, and minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, or 1-2 ears, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1 bay leaf

Possible toppings

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
  • black olives
  • fresh cilantro, chopped


Drain and rinse the soaked black beans in a colander. Bring the beans and water to a boil in a big soup pot over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour or more, until the beans are soft to the bite but not falling apart or splitting. Drain the beans in a colander.

For canned kidney beans, drain them in a colander and rinse them well. If you are using dried kidney beans, use the quick-soak method above.

In the same big soup pot, warm the oil and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes to flavor the oil. (Be careful not to overcook the garlic—if it begins to brown, turn down the heat.) Add the onion, turn the heat up to medium-high, and saute for 5-10 minutes, until onion is tender and translucent.

Continue adding the chopped vegetables one at a time, letting each cook for about 5 minutes before adding the next, in this order: carrots, celery, bell and jalapeno peppers (together), zucchini and yellow squash (together), and, last, corn.

Once you’ve added and sauteed all the vegetables, add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, sugar, and coriander and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables absorb the flavor of the spices.

Stir the beans, tomatoes, hot sauce, and bay leaf into the soup pot. Bring the chili to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for an hour or more, until the chili thickens. Serve warm with sea salt sprinkled on top, with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped red onions or scallions, or other toppings.


What you’ll need:

Love, Janelle

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